Karen Faith is true to her name. A steadfast devotion to the gym, her family, and the health of others is what drives this superwoman to success after success. And this is her care package.
DO UNTO OTHERS
I am a full-time Registered Nurse in the Brantford General Hospital Critical Care Unit, as I have been for the past 30 years. I guess I chose this work because when I was in school nursing was seen as a respected profession. Plus, I have always enjoyed helping others, so it aligned with my personal values.
STRONG ROLE MODELS
I admired female bodybuilders from the time I was a teenager, and I had always wanted to compete in bodybuilding. I decided to add it to my bucket list: to compete by the time I was 50. That didn’t happen. But when I turned 51, I reached out to my now-trainer Mary Dinner, worked with her to transform my body, and went on to compete from there.
MORE THAN A FAD
My diet is not so much a “diet” now. It’s just a healthier way for me to live; it has become a lifestyle. I have a greater affinity for clean eating and the health benefits associated with it. And these days I am more focused on exercising regularly, not just occasionally. When I train, it is with more intention, and I continually stay updated on the latest health and fitness research to ensure my diet and exercise routines are optimized for my body. In the beginning, when I first started exercising, I would compare myself to others. But now my diet and fitness are all about making me the best I can be. I actively orientate my actions around achieving the best for myself.
SPIKE & WAVE
My sport of choice is volleyball. I started playing in high school and have continued playing through adulthood in a co-ed league every week. It’s an awesome way to stay fit and keep friends outside of work and home. Who wouldn’t want a 5’11” woman in their front row?
STAYING ON TRACK
My dedication to a clean lifestyle has always been a bit of a roller coaster ride – anyone who is aiming to improve their health faces challenges. But with the support of those around you and some positive self-talk, you learn to not be so hard on yourself and recognize that you can get back on track and move forward with your goals.
CHECKS AND BALANCES
I have certainly gone through periods of wanting to stay on point one hundred percent of the time; in fact, I used to beat myself up if I ate something not-so-healthy or skipped a gym session. But I have learned that a part of living is to enjoy things along the way, and that means being okay with not being perfect all of the time and doing what you want – as long as you keep your end goal in mind.
IN FOR A TREAT
I like to go out to a nice dinner with my husband or treat myself to a manicure and pedicure – with an occasional glass of red wine to top it all off! I also keep a scrapbook of all my successes, so I get to add something to that when I reach a goal, which is really rewarding.
LIFE’S GREATEST REWARDS
One of my favorite ways to relax is by going on weekend road trips to new places on my motorcycle with my husband and friends (weather permitting, of course!). I also love FaceTiming with my daughter Kate, who lives in New Zealand, and watching my son on the big screen as a stunt actor in movies – two things in life that bring me great joy.
When working in a critical care unit, success can be measured in a few different but equally important ways. It could be anything from helping someone pass away with comfort and dignity, to successfully resuscitating someone who has had a cardiac event, to putting a smile on the faces of your patients and their families. Even though days in a hospital are rarely easy, I feel most successful when I have done something to benefit those people in distress who we are caring for.